Sport Rugby

Sunday 22 September 2019

Bernard Jackman on the hunt for a new role after early exit from Dragons

Jackman blooded a slew of new players. Photo: Sportsfile
Jackman blooded a slew of new players. Photo: Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Bernard Jackman is on the lookout for a new job after parting company with Dragons 18 months into a three-year deal.

The Welsh region confirmed the news last night and it is understood that the former Ireland hooker was informed of the news on Monday night in the wake of his side's defeat to Northampton Saints last weekend.

The Carlow native took over the traditional strugglers at the beginning of last season but endured a difficult first campaign, winning just two PRO14 games.

Jackman blooded a slew of new players and oversaw a major squad overhaul last summer as internationals Ross Moriarty and Richard Hibbard arrived, but while they have made it to three victories so far this campaign the pace of change has not satisfied the locals.

The former Grenoble supremo shipped significant criticism in the local media and from notable former players like Shane Williams in recent weeks.

And his cause was not helped by a four-week stadium ban for comments he made about the referee Ian Davies.

He may also regret opening his first pre-season up to a documentary crew from RugbyPass who broadcast him delivering some home truths to his players. After amassing five seasons of head coaching experience, Jackman's next move will be a crucial one and the reality of the market may force him to take a step back to an assistant's role before returning to the fore.

An impressive communicator, he has a high profile in the media and regularly appears on the Irish airwaves.

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The Welsh Rugby Union, who run the Dragons, are now on the lookout for Jackman's successor.

Meanwhile, French side Pau are lining up a move for All Black full-back Ben Smith after next year's World Cup.

The Pyrenees side, who have Irish players Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall and Dave Foley on their books, and are coached by former Munster assistant Simon Mannix, have ended their interest in Smith's team-mate Ardie Savea.

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